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Leila Lehnen

  • Associate Professor
  • Spanish and Portuguese

Department Website

Photo: Leila  Lehnen

Associate Professor Leila Lehnen received an appointment in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of New Mexico in 2004.  Lehnen also holds the position of program coordinator for the Portuguese Language program. Offering a wide variety of courses for undergraduate and graduate students, her classes focus on politics, culture and society, social justice and human rights. Lehnen specializes in the countries of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile and has research interests in twentieth and twenty-first-century Brazilian and Spanish American literature and cultural studies, as well as contemporary Brazilian and Spanish-American cultural production. She is especially interested in how culture reflects, comments and attempts to, at times, subvert dominant discourses such as historiography. In her classes, Professor Lehnen likes to motivate students to think critically about the hybrid processes that form and transform cultures as well as the effects culture has on how we engage with the world we live in. In 2013, she published the book Citizenship and Crisis in Contemporary Brazilian Literature (Palgrave), which considers how literary texts address the transformations that Brazil has undergone since its 1985 transition to democracy.


  • PhD in Spanish and Portuguese, Vanderbilt University (2003)
  • MA in Spanish, Vanderbilt University (2000)
  • MA in Portuguese, Vanderbilt University (1999)
  • MA in Comparative Literature, University of Washington (1998)
  • BA in Germanics, Eberhardts-Karls-Universität (1995)

Research Areas

  • Contemporary Literature And Culture

Country Specialization(s)

  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Chile

Latin American Studies Courses

  • SPAN 435 Modern Spanish American Fiction
  • PORT 414/514 Social Justice in Brazilian Culture
  • PORT 414/514 Brazil’s Post Dictatorship
  • PORT 457/557 Encounters with the New World I
  • PORT 458/558 Encounters of the New World II
  • PORT 312/512 Brazilian Culture: Beginning Approaches to Afrobrazilian Culture
  • PORT 311 Culture and Composition

*Latin America-related courses offered during the past three years*